Digital media & parenting

Sex ed

  • What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety by Jaclyn Friedman. In a culture that demands sexiness of women but condemns their sexuality, how do you make decisions about sex that you’re happy with? What’s great about this book is that it helps readers un-learn the scare-tactics and slut-shaming about sexuality that they’ve probably grown up with. Though the book is written for women and teen girls, most of the advice applies to people of any gender.
  • You can start talking about consent, in age-appropriate ways, as soon as your kids are old enough to communicate.
  • SIECUS has excellent guidelines on what kids should know about sex at each age. Planned Parenthood has resources for parents too. For younger kids, there’s an great series of books starting with It’s not the stork.


  • Here’s a tip sheet from Media Smarts on “Talking to your kids about sexting
  • Kids help phone has an excellent site about sexting for teens, though the specific legal guidelines only apply in Canada.
  • Nude Selfies: What parents and carers need to know: This PSA offers the crucial message that sexting is not wrong and deviant; teens often do it simply for pleasure and that it’s not something to worry about in and of itself. These videos also include the important point that forwarding a private photo without permission is a serious violation.
  • Advocates for Youth created an excellent one-hour lesson plan on sexting that doesn’t shame sexters and instead helps teens think about both the pleasures and risks of sexting. All their lesson plans are available for free download if you share your contact information. The sexting lesson is aimed at 10th grade students and is called: “Lesson 5 Using Technology Respectfully and Responsibly.”